[Federal Register: September 26, 2008 (Volume 73, Number 188)]
[Notices]               
[Page 55867-55868]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr26se08-81]                         

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

Bureau of Land Management

[NV-040-1610-DR; 08-08807; TAS: 14X1109]

 
Notice of Availability: Record of Decision for the Ely Resource 
Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, Nevada

AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior.

ACTION: Notice of availability.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announces the availability 
of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Approved Resource Management 
Plan (RMP) for the Ely RMP planning area located in east-central Nevada 
in Lincoln, White Pine and a portion of Nye counties. The Nevada State 
Director signed the ROD on August 20, 2008, which constitutes the final 
decision of the BLM and makes the Approved RMP effective immediately.

ADDRESSES: Copies of the ROD/Approved RMP are available on request from 
the District Manager, Ely District Office, Bureau of Land Management, 
702 North Industrial Way, Ely, Nevada 89301 or via the Internet at: 
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/leaving.cgi?from=leavingFR.html&log=linklog&to=http://www.blm.gov/nv/st/en/fo/ely_field_office.html.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information contact Jeff 
Weeks, RMP Project Manager, at (775) 289-1825 or e-mail to: 
elyrmp@blm.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The following entities participated in 
development of the RMP as cooperating agencies with special expertise: 
Great Basin National Park; Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest; Nellis Air 
Force Base; Nevada Department of Transportation; Nevada Division of 
Minerals; Nevada Department of Wildlife; Nevada State Historic 
Preservation Office; Lincoln County; Nye County; White Pine County; 
Duckwater Shoshone Tribe; Ely Shoshone Tribe; Moapa Band of Paiutes; 
and the Yomba Shoshone Tribe.
    The public involvement and collaboration process implemented for 
this effort included six open houses during scoping; presentations to 
interested organizations upon their invitation; presentations to and 
suggestions from the Mojave/Southern Great Basin and the Northeastern 
Great Basin Resource Advisory Councils (RACs); distribution of 
information via the Ely RMP Web site and periodic planning bulletins; 
six public meetings on the Draft RMP/EIS; and public and agency review 
and comment on the Draft RMP/EIS.
    The planning area contains approximately 11,500,000 acres of public 
lands administered by the BLM Ely District. The Approved RMP describes 
the management direction to meet desired resource conditions through 
watershed analyses for livestock grazing, wildlife habitat, and special 
status species, while managing for mineral exploration and development, 
renewable energy development, recreational uses, areas of critical 
environmental concern. It also provides for land tenure adjustments to 
meet community growth needs.
    The preferred alternative, Alternative E of the Draft RMP, was 
carried forward into the Proposed RMP and Final EIS (PRMP/FEIS) as the 
Proposed Plan. The PRMP/FEIS was made available on November 30, 2007 
and sent to

[[Page 55868]]

individuals, groups, and agencies who requested a copy, or as required 
by regulation or policy.
    A 30-day protest period was provided on the land use plan decisions 
contained in the Proposed RMP/Final EIS in accordance with 43 CFR Part 
1610.5-2. Six protests were received (two from the same party), three 
of the six letters were subsequently resolved by the BLM Director, 
whose decision constitutes final agency action for the U.S. Department 
of the Interior. The main protest issues in these letters pertained to 
special status species, wildlife, livestock grazing, watershed 
management, and level of detail of decisions in the Proposed RMP. No 
changes to proposed management actions resulted from the resolution of 
the protests.
    Three of the six protest letters received were determined not to 
have standing under the regulations at 43 CFR 1610.5-2. During the 
process of reviewing protest letters, the BLM became aware of a mapping 
error and potentially unnecessary management direction for the proposed 
ACEC at the Rock Animal Corral. The BLM has determined that the area 
does not require special management as an ACEC to protect its relevant 
and important values. Protection of the values can be achieved by 
maintaining the current designation as the Rock Animal Corral 
archaeological site with existing restrictions on fluid and solid 
mineral leasing, locatable minerals and mineral material sales on the 
160 acre site. This is consistent with the current management in 
Alternative A in the Proposed RMP. The Approved RMP reflects that 
change.
    The BLM provided the Governor of Nevada with a 60-day Governor's 
Consistency Review as provided by the regulations. No specific 
inconsistencies with state or local plans, policies, or programs were 
noted from the review. BLM received comments from the Nevada Department 
of Wildlife and the Nevada Division of Water Resources. BLM responded 
to the Department of Wildlife comments with a meeting and a letter. No 
changes to the Approved RMP resulted from the Governors' Consistency 
Review. Based upon comments received during the protest period, some 
minor editorial modifications have been made in preparing the Approved 
RMP. These modifications provide further clarification of some of the 
decisions/maps.
    In accordance with Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the 
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) issued a Biological Opinion. The 
USFWS Biological Opinion has been included as an appendix to the ROD/
Approved RMP.
    The ROD serves as the final decision for the land use plan 
decisions described in the Approved RMP. The ROD also contains 
implementation-level decisions for Paleontological Resource Management, 
Travel Management route identifications, and Forest/Woodland and Other 
Plant Products. These decisions are included in the Approved RMP. 
Designations, such as route closures are planning-level decisions. 
These implementation-level decisions are appealable under 43 CFR Part 
4. Any party adversely affected by the (proposed) implementation 
decisions may appeal the decisions within 30 days of publication of 
this Notice of Availability pursuant to 43 CFR, Part 4, Subpart E. The 
appeal should state the specific decision(s) in the Approved RMP which 
are being appealed.
    The appeal must be filed with the Ely District Manager at the 
address listed above. Please consult the appropriate regulations (43 
CFR, Part 4, Subpart E) for further appeal requirements.

(Authority: H-1790-1-National Environmental Policy Act Handbook)

Ron Wenker,
Nevada State Director.
 [FR Doc. E8-22540 Filed 9-25-08; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 4310-HC-P